All posts tagged: workshop

pop goes the etsy.

The San Francisco Etsy street team strikes again! This time, setting up a pop-up at Ghirardelli Square for the entire summer! Participating vendors set up a 3-foot by 2-foot space. I found the perfect display for my pennants — a flower pot holder! SF Etsy is all volunteer run, so we were each asked to volunteer a shift during the pop-up. For opening weekend I signed up to be a “Traffic Attractor,” tasked to get people to come inside and shop local. I made a giant pennant for the occasion, plus some neon arrows. So much good stuff in the market! Vendors rotated in and out over the weeks so the market was ever-changing. For one of the market days I got to teach a mini felt succulent workshop upstairs. And I got to set up an additional pop-up display. Loving this tiny set-up. A huge THANK YOU to the coordinators – Rebecca, Stephanie, Krys, and Debbie – and to my team members for volunteering many hours and so much energy to put on this …

sew cool.

Watch out world; I know how to sew my own skirts…with pockets! I recently had a private sewing lesson with my crafty friend Rebecca of OodleBaDoodle. Not only is she a super talented, super lovely human, but she is the most excellent instructor. I got to hang out in her studio all day (I am a slow sewer!) and see where all the OodleBaDoodle magic happens. I brought in fabric from Old Yak Bazaar in Berkeley. Super mega heart eyes, am I right? I measured and marked, and did a lot of ironing and pressing. And I got to play with Rebecca’s new sewing machine! So cute! Rebecca helped me navigate through my mistakes. Pockets can be challenging! I added a little stretch… And Rebecca hand-stamped and hand-stitched on a tag for me. Viola! I was too excited and I wore my new skirt home over the skirt I was already wearing. Thank you, Rebecca, for making the process fun-filled and easily-to-follow. Now that I know how to make something durable (I’ve worn my skirt …

truffles and bonbons!

Truffles anyone? Me, me, me! I recently took a truffles and bonbons class at Oaktown Spice Shop. The instructor was none other than the owner and founder of Endorfin Foods – Brian! He makes the smoothest chocolate bars sans milk! (You must try the Turkish coffee bar!) I’ve made truffles once before; they turned out smooth and decadent, but they were on the softer side and would lose their shape quickly. I brought all my questions to class and learned lots of important tips and tricks. We even learned some truffle making hacks like making the ganache in a blender with a heat gun instead of using a double boiler, and using an infrared thermometer to read the ganache’s temperature instead of a candy thermometer (it’s way cooler!). Brian demoed how to make ganache and he brought some premade/precooled ganache for the hands-on part of class. We learned how to flavor the ganache, what types of liquids to use, and what the ganache should look like while it’s being made. Then, with gloves on (and being …

lemons.

When life gives you lemons, you make embroidery sampler hoops! Ya! I recently took an embroidery workshop with Jennie Lennick of Jenny Lemons. Jennie designs, sews, block prints, and paints her uberly cute and colorful clothing line in her San Francisco studio. She also teaches fun workshops and creates playful embroidery + fabric art. Her foodcentric creations are my favorite. I’ve taken an embroidery class before but learning from different teachers is always a good idea. Some stitches were familiar, others I had forgotten about, and still others were completely new. It was also great to learn new techniques for familiar stitches, and be inspired by Jennie’s projects and super helpful pro tips. In this workshop we learned and practiced: Running stitch Backstitch Whipped backstitch Blanket stitch (or what I now like to call eyelash stitch) French knots Couching Satin stitch Here’s one of Jennie’s sample hoops. Class went by so quickly; I could have easily continued to practice stitches for another couple of hours. Jennie serves hot tea in her workshops, too, so I was …

chai time!

My good friend Angel (the lady behind Todos Organics) and I ventured to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden this past weekend for a lesson in chai and spice. Class was held in the Garden’s Tropical House which was the perfect location for learning about masala chai; many of the plants used in masala chai recipes are grown here. Our instructor was Deepa Natarajan, ethnobotanist and lover of masala chai! She’s also got her own masala chai spice blend that is sold at the Oaktown Spice Shop. Basically, she is a masala chai celebrity. 😉 Deepa gave a us history lesson in tea, talked about each of the spices you might put in a masala chai, and showed us the different plants in the garden that produce masala chai ingredients. Masala means “mixture of spices” and chai simply means “tea.” What makes a masala chai? Clove, star anise, cinnamon… …cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, coriander… And ginger! I got to help grate the ginger on a ginger grater, which I’ve decided I need in my life. This thing is amazing! Here’s …

fish pickles.

My last wish list skill for my summer learning was fish pickling and curing. I know what you are thinking — “That’s totally awesome!!” (See macrame and indigo dyeing, too!) I had been wanting to take a class at Preserved for a while now and as I perused the class list, pickling and curing fish, stood out to me as a unique craft. Even though I know people have been doing this for centuries this is a completely new to me endeavor. And this time I brought my friend Lennie along for the fishy ride! Preserved houses all the supplies for all  your preserving needs. I got to class early and spent the entire waiting time just staring at the shelves, imagining all the things I could make. Our instructor Danny is a fish curing expert, and class was like a live cooking show, complete with food stand ins. Danny reviewed a number of curing and pickling techniques, and we got to feel, smell, and taste the various methods. My favorite technique might have to be the water-vinegar …

indigo.

Next up on my Summer Skills List: indigo dyeing. This time I dragged my friend Danielle! 😆 We took class at Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville with Alexa of Euclid and Jayne. We learned all the basics and had the best time experimenting with different techniques. The class fee included two pillow cases and one tea towel, and we were encouraged to bring some extra small items to dye as well. I brought two infinity scarves and another tea towel to complete the set. (Dharma Trading sells some great items for indigo dyeing!) You don’t need much to create beautiful designs, but you do need some space for getting messy. We used pieces of wood, rubber bands, clamps, and a ladle. Yes a ladle! Before: After: The final colors were a few shades lighter after I rinsed the excess dye and ran it through the washer and dryer. Check out all the lovelies made by my classmates! Now I want to indigo dye everything. I see blue sheets, dresses/skirts, and giftables in my future!